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Cross-linking of the Extracellular Matrix

The University of Cambridge’s Dr. William Bains provides a thorough overview of extracellular cross-links in this lecture, published on Oct 11, 2013. He explains that advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) can irreversibly link proteins together, and cross-linking AGEs appear to play an important role in aging.

They are particularly problematic in the cardiovascular system, where cross-links cause our arteries to stiffen with age, raising blood pressure and making a patient more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke. Cross-links are also implicated in complications from diabetes. Dr. Bains explains the structure and nature of cross-links, where they accumulate in the body, and even what their surprising role is in cooking. He ends by discussing a major AGE-breaking drug that has been tested on humans and touches on potential future therapies.

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